Open Letter: Why I, Kevin Kofler, am not rerunning for FESCo

Stephen John Smoogen smooge at
Tue May 4 18:45:37 UTC 2010

On Tue, May 4, 2010 at 11:14 AM, Kevin Kofler <kevin.kofler at> wrote:
> Stephen John Smoogen wrote:
>> Any one of those can invalidate the mathematical tests you say to run
>> as they require random pools, controls on populations polled, and
>> non-leading questions. People keep telling you this and you seem to
>> keep ignoring it.
> I know the poll is far from perfect. But it is the best we have and it is a
> better basis for decision than somebody's guess which has no roots in
> reality at all.
> And unlike your motorcycle example, there is no provable bias into either
> direction. All you can say is that the results MAY be false due to imperfect
> methodology, you can't prove they are.

I am sorry, but I was confused. You said you would compute p-value
tests, but those are only really valuable if you have over a 90%
confidence level in the data. Using a non-random sampling polling
method which the forum comes in.. I was advised that the best
confidence level one could have was 60% with it probably being more
like 50%. At this point your +/- % is about 50% also.

At this point, what I can say about the survey is that somewhere
between 1% to 100% of people want 'adventurous updates'. And between
1% and 100% do not. Yes the number 78% looks really strong but the
confidence in it is so low that it could just as easily have been 22%
.. and just as been accurate.

Stephen J Smoogen.
“The core skill of innovators is error recovery, not failure avoidance.”
Randy Nelson, President of Pixar University.
"We have a strategic plan. It's called doing things.""
— Herb Kelleher, founder Southwest Airlines

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